BOSTON -- State Rep. Jen Benson, D-Lunenburg, announces that both Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, and The Discovery Museums in Acton will to participate in the Highland Street Foundation's annual Free Fun Fridays program.

The Highland Street Foundation provides grants to participating venues to cover the cost of opening their doors for free.

Free Fun Fridays is the annual summer program that opens doors at no cost to visitors to many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts. Beginning June 27 through Aug. 29, 66 cultural venues will be open free of charge every Friday for 10 weeks this summer.

"Free Fun Fridays is an excellent program, as it is available in many different locations, across the commonwealth," said Benson. "The program provides an opportunity to keep children engaged, at no cost, in arts, culture and history, throughout the summer months. I want to thank the Highland Street Foundation for continuing to annually run this program. I encourage everyone to take advantage of Free Fun Fridays and visit the Fruitlands Museum, and The Discovery Museums."

Fruitlands Museum, located in Harvard, will open its gates for this campus-wide free event on Friday, July 11. This year marks Fruitlands Museum's 100th anniversary presenting programs and exhibitions celebrating the art, heritage and nature of New England.

Overlooking an expansive vista of the Nashua River Valley, Fruitlands Museum is composed of five museum buildings that feature Native American art, Hudson River School landscape paintings, early American portraits, Shaker furniture and art, and the Fruitlands Farmhouse, which includes exhibits about Bronson Alcott and the experimental Transcendentalist community he established in 1843.

The surrounding landscape is Fruitlands fifth collection -- a living exhibit of meadows, fields and forests with nearly 3 miles of walking trails, archaeological sites and wildlife habitats.

"Fruitlands Museum is thrilled to be a part of the Highland Street Foundation's annual Free Fun Fridays program," said Melissa Kershaw, director of education and public programs at Fruitlands. "We can think of no better way to celebrate the museum's 100th anniversary than by opening our gates and sharing the festivities with our neighbors and friends. All of us at Fruitlands are grateful to the Highland Street Foundation, who make it possible to share our collections and unique landscape at no cost to visitors. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our hillside on Friday, July 11."

The Discovery Museums in Acton will open their doors for free on Friday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Founded in 1982, the Museums blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus.

The two museums, the Science Discovery Museum and the Children's Discovery Museum, offer hands-on exhibits developed by professional educators . More than 400 hands-on programs are offered each year, as well as special free programs and events, such as the "Especially for Me" series for families with children on the autism spectrum or with hearing loss.